How We Began

About The Liston Group

As an ordained minister beginning a counseling practice in 1987, Mark Liston wasn’t motivated by profit but purpose and passion.  He applied for and received non-profit (501-c-3) status with the US Internal Revenue Service for the ill-chosen name, Institute of Counseling Prayer.  Clients couldn’t remember the cumbersome title so the practice’s name was made JoMo Counseling.

When he began the Liston Group in 2006, he and the board continued this non-profit tradition.  JoMo Counseling provided all funding to create the first edition of C2: Character Challenge.  All income from C2 sales has been used to improve quality and develop Character Growth Index.  


Why We Are Non-Profit

The Liston Group purpose and passion is to provide resources for those who are helping kids.  We must pay our bills but attempt to provide our services at the most minimal cost necessary to fulfill our mission.


Character Advisors

Marvin W. Berkowitz, PhD; Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Co-Director, Center for Character and Citizenship; University of Missouri System Thomas Jefferson Fellow; author of numerous books, book chapters, and hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles.  He holds the only endowed chair of character and is considered the premier expert on character education.

Thomas Lickona, PhD; Professor, State University of New York, Cortland (retired); developmental psychologist; past president, Association of Moral Educators; founder, Center for the Fourth and Fifth R’s; author of Character Matters (2004), Educating for Character (1991), Smart and Good High Schools (Davidson & Lickona, 2005), and many books chapters and articles.  Tom is considered one of the Founding Fathers of character education.

Willibald Ruch, PhD; Professor, University of Zurich, Switzerland; Willibald Ruch is a full professor of psychology and head of the personality and assessment section. His current research interests are in character strengths, humor and laughter.  Willi is working with Martin Seligman on the second edition of Character Strengths and Virtues.  He and Mark co-presented at Harvard University.


Board of Directors

Rick Starkweather, LG President; Operator, ChickFilA, Joplin, MO; board member since 2002.

Jim Snyder, LG Chief Operations Officer; retired; board member since 2003.

Mark Liston, PhD; LG Founder, board member since 1987.


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